APPLYING THE CROSS FOR THE INNER ANOINTING
There are three major items we must realize related to the anointing. The first is the fellowship, of which we have already spoken. The second is the application of the cross. In order to always go along with the inner anointing, we need to apply the cross to ourselves. The inner anointing is always against our flesh and our self. In order to take care of the inner anointing, we need to definitely and specifically apply the cross in particular matters to an adequate extent. If we do not apply the cross to ourselves, we simply will not be able to go along with the inner anointing. To be sure, we will only go along with ourselves, and we will give up the inner anointing.
The more we apply the cross to ourselves, the more sense of the anointing we have. Here is the need of the application of the cross. We can realize the anointing only in fellowship with the Lord, and we can go along with and take care of the anointing only by the application of the cross. Day by day we need to apply the cross.
This is the point at which we learn the lesson of the application of the cross. We may already know that we have been crucified with Christ, but we apply the cross only when we are in fellowship with the Lord and we sense the anointing. Therefore, the more we learn the lesson of the anointing, the more we experience the cross in a very practical, real, and living way. Then the cross is something not merely in teaching, doctrine, thought, or concept. It is very real in our experience. We apply the cross to ourselves for the sake of the inner anointing.
APPLYING THE LORD’S BLOOD FOR THE INNER ANOINTING
The third major item concerning the anointing is the Lord’s blood. The more we intend to learn the lesson of the inner anointing, the more we will appreciate how much we need the blood. Likewise, the more we experience the cleansing of the blood, the more anointing we have. The types in the Old Testament show us that the anointing is always applied based on the sprinkling of the blood. In the Old Testament times, when the priests came to be anointed, they first needed to be sprinkled by the blood. Where the blood is sprinkled, there the anointing is.
If we do not have the cleansing of the blood, we do not have the ground for the Holy Spirit to anoint us. The anointing is available only on the ground of redemption by the Lord’s blood. The redeeming blood of the Lord is for cleansing, and the Spirit of the Lord is for anointing. We first must be cleansed by the blood of the Lord, and then we can be anointed by the Spirit of the Lord.
Many times when we sense the anointing, we also sense how rebellious, unsubmissive, sinful, and dirty we are. At that very time we spontaneously say, “Lord, cleanse me with Your blood.” Then we may point out specific matters to the Lord and say, “Lord, cleanse me in this matter. I have a wrong attitude toward a brother. I have a wrong motive. In my ministry I have a motive which has never been purified. Lord, cleanse me.”
It is the anointing of the Holy Spirit that brings light and revelation to us and even brings us into the presence of the Lord to be exposed. If we simply take care of the inner anointing, we will be absolutely and thoroughly exposed by the Holy Spirit. All the hidden matters, hidden thoughts, secret motives, and secret intentions we have or had in the past will be exposed and revealed to us. Then we will see how crooked, how subtle, and how sinful we are, and we will need the cleansing of the blood. It is when we are exposed that the blood is so prevailing, dear, and precious to us. We sense and realize how precious the blood of the Lord is to us because without the blood we can never be cleansed, and we can never be at peace in our conscience under the enlightenment of the anointing.
Perhaps in our actions we are not crooked, but in our motives and intentions we are crooked. Even we ourselves do not know ourselves, as Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things/And it is incurable;/Who can know it?” We cannot perceive by ourselves how deceitful our heart is. We may consider that we are sincere, faithful, and straight persons, but when the anointing of the Holy Spirit brings us into the presence of the Lord and absolutely and thoroughly exposes us under His enlightenment, we see how crooked, subtle, sinful, and deceitful we are in our motives, intentions, desires, and will. At this point we spontaneously need the cleansing of the blood. We prostrate ourselves before the Lord and say, “Lord, cleanse me” many times. Praise the Lord, the more we say, “Cleanse me,” the more we are anointed! The more we say, “Lord, cleanse me with Your precious blood,” the more we sense the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Then we have comfort, peace, inner satisfaction, inner rest, and refreshment. On the one hand, we are sorrowful for our subtlety and crookedness, but on the other hand, we are refreshed and satisfied with the anointing.
(Basic Principles of the Experience of Life, Chapter 16, by Witness Lee)